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..F2016 15 3. IMMERSING YOURSELF IN NEW CULTURES Did you know that in China some travelers pay for a train ticket with no seat They stand in the aisles or sit on a stool they bring along with them. Often travelers with seats will take turns in the aisle oering their seats to these other travelers. Did you know that on the days long train journey across the Russian Siberia you can always nd someone in the meal car willing to play cards. Or that at every stop there are old ladies selling delicious fresh piroshki and smoked sh Did you know that in Morocco it is common to share a cab with strangers if you are both going in the same general direction Travel is an important part of any culture. So to truly immerse yourself in a new country you should make every attempt to try to travel like the locals do. You are really denying yourself a gratifying and enlightening experience if your only travel experience is the ight in and the cab to your resort. 4. BOLSTERING YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE While living in Hangzhou China I discovered that the most dicult thing to master was the public bus system. Bus stops had giant maps with complex bus routes smeared with Chinese characters. Even the numbers were written in Hanzi rather than Arabic numbers. It took weeks of riding busses just to see where they led getting unbelievably lost and eventually hailing a cab home in exasperation until I nally got a halfway reasonable understanding of the system. It was an incredible victory the day that I nally rode the bus from my apartment across town to the imports grocery store without getting lost. That French cheese was victory cheese. I was powerful clever and self-reliant. I had conquered that bus Never mind that I got lost again the next day. Because I knew that I could gure it out eventually. And that is a great feeling. 5. FINDING HIDDEN GEMS AND SURPRISE DISCOVERIES I know it is tempting to chase after each ancient tourist site infamous restaurant and trendy bar recommended by Lonely Planet Trip Advisor and WikiTravel. But do you know why those trendy Ihope Ive convinced you. Slow travel is wonderful travel. It is delightful relaxing enlightening and inspiring. But dont take my word for it. On your next trip try to slow it down a bit and be amazed by all the incredible experiences youll have. I guarantee it. places got discovered in the rst place Because some travel writer out there knows that the real secret to exploration is to wander the less beaten paths looking for the hidden gems. Be your own trip advisor You go nd those surprise discoveries and then you can be the clever traveler that impresses all your friends with little known wonderful recommendations. excitement independence and discovery await those who are bold enough to say yes to lifes craziest choices. When not exploring the world with her little grey backpack Aeri Rose an be found living a nomadic lifestyle traveling the United States as an artist and entrepreneur. To follow Aeri on all her adventures check her out online at or on Facebook at www.facebook.comaerirose. were doing pack a bag and set out on an adventure Seven years and over two dozen countries later Aeri Rose is proof that Have you ever had the urge to just drop what you